CLAREMONT, CA. – It was a joyous ending for the Pomona-Pitzer Women's Volleyball team on Saturday evening, as the Sagehens won their senior day match against University of La Verne 3-1 (25-18, 25-18, 25-27, 25-21). Prior to the match, seniors Julia Zwaal and Sophie Janssen were honored by Head Coach Valerie Townsend for their hard work and contributions to the program. Zwaal made the most of her final Sagehen appearance, delivering 19 kills and reaching for 17 digs. She finished her Sagehen career with 997 total kills and 972 total digs. Janssen protected the floor with 16 digs and scored two service aces. She finished her career with 1117 digs and 78 service aces. On the defensive end Kayla Krilove protected the net with one solo block and three assisted blocks.
Season Impact: The Sagehens finish the regular season 13-15 overall and 10-6 in the SCIAC. The team is tied for third in the SCIAC standings with La Verne and Chapman, but will not qualify for the playoffs per tiebreaker rule.
The Leopards pounced to an early 7-4 lead in the opening set, but a big kill by Chloe Kerstein followed by two straight attack errors from La Verne helped the Sagehens tie the game 7-7. The two sides remained fairly closed, but the Sagehens broke out after leading 19-17 with a 4-0 run, during which Kerstein scored a service ace and Zwaal landed a huge spike to extend the lead 23-17. After the Leopards scored two straight, Brooke Carlson and Zwaal landed back-to-back hits to close the set.
The Sagehens came out firing in the start of the second set, opening with a 5-0 run during which Zwaal scored two service aces and Kelly and Krilove combined for a huge block. The home side maintained their lead, and later pulled away after leading 20-16 with a huge 4-0 run to put the set out of reach. During the run, Krilove stuffed a solo block and followed up with a combined block with Carlson. Zwaal capped the set with a big spike off a toss from Casillas.
Pomona-Pitzer did not get off to a right foot in the third set as the Leopards opened with a 10-1 lead. Over the course of the set, the Sagehens tried to chip away at the lead. Trailing 19-12, the Sagehens broke out with five straight points starting with a big spike from Kelly followed by a hit from Gaby Harrison. After an attack error by the Leopards, Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong and Harrison hit back-to-back kills to cut the deficit 19-17. The Sagehens later scored three straight to tie the set 22-22 and tried to pull away for the three set sweep. Unfortunately, the set went into extra points and the Leopards prevailed 27-25.
The fourth set opened up tightly as both teams exchanged points in the beginning of the set. Falling behind 11-8, the Sagehens erupted with six straight points, thanks in part to a couple errors by the Leopards and a huge solo block by Addo-Ashong to lead 14-11. The Sagehens held onto their lead for most of the set, and a big kill by Kelly that bounced off the opposing blocker's hands and out of hands seal the match.